Signature Boston

Meet the Speakers

Colette Carlson, CSP
Speak Your Truth, Inc.

Colette Carlson, with a Master’s Degree in Human Behavior, a fascination with communication trends, and extensive experience in the personal development industry for over 20 years, is a human behavior expert and keynote speaker who inspires individuals to connect and communicate in real and relevant ways. How to create effective connections, and leverage them for greater success, is the thread woven into every one of Colette’s presentations.

In 2017, Colette was inducted into the CPAE Speaker Hall Fame®, a lifetime award that honors professional speakers who have reached the top echelon of platform excellence.

Her articles have been featured in Success, Business Management Daily, and Working Mother magazines. Clients include Boeing, Microsoft, Cisco, Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, Shell, Great Clips, Davidson Hotels, the United States Government.

Laugh out loud while you learn how to form and sustain connections that drive productivity, engagement and collaboration.

Session Title: Truths Female Leaders Need to Know

Want to be recognized, respected and rewarded in your career? Want to grow your leadership effectiveness? Now is the time to take an honest look, access and advance your leadership skills. Join Colette as she delivers the latest research and strategies specific to women in leadership. You will gain the self-awareness and success-skills necessary to become an authentic, credible and confident leader.



Jess Ekstrom
Headbands of Hope

Jess is the founder and CEO of Headbands of Hope, a company she started as a junior in college in 2012. For every headband sold, a headband is given to a child with cancer. The company has been featured on the TODAY Show, Vanity Fair, Seventeen, Good Morning America and more. But more importantly, they’ve donated over 350,000 headbands to every children’s hospital in the United States and 15 countries. Jess is also a professional speaker and has a book coming out with Harper Collins in November 2019. She’s also the founder of Mic Drop Workshop, an online course with the mission of empowering more women to share their message as a speaker. She lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband and standard poodle, Ollie.

Session Title: Channeling Grit to Greatness

If you could do anything during your lifetime, what would it be? What actions are you taking today to get you there? Many of us imagine a list of goals we want to achieve, but sometimes they don’t get put into motion. Jess says there are two things that stand between us and our lifetime bucket list: the courage to try and the belief that we can. In this inspiring keynote, Jess Ekstrom challenges you to build your bucket list with a personal plan and timeline for making it happen. She captivates the audience by incorporating personal stories from when she was young and auditioned for the show All That, to when she went to college and started a million-dollar business from her dorm room. Jess explains in detail how to move forward with our passions, even when we have moments of uncertainty or are afraid to fail. An honest, humorous and inspiring tale of taking a leap, going for it and learning that failures are not opposite of success, they’re part of success!


<!–Risha Grant –>

Tamara Ghandour
Innovator. Business Owner. Change Leader.

At the forefront of human-centered innovation, the impact of Tamara’s groundbreaking work can be seen in individuals and teams across the globe.

Bringing together over two decades of business experience, neuroscience, brain mechanics, and behavioral psychology, she created the first tools to truly make innovation tangible and accessible to all of us. Through her proprietary assessment, The Innovation Quotient Edge (IQE), Tamara discovered the keys to unlocking individuals’ innovative minds to perform at their peak, create breakthrough outcomes, and have a stronger, more valued voice in the world.

From being part of the elite group of TED speakers to completing three Tough Mudders (and counting), her life is about helping others breaking through their status quo walls for game-changing results. When companies like Arrow, Disney, Ardent Mills, Schneider Electric and RICOH want to drive innovation across their people and business, they call Tamara.  She has run multi-million-dollar businesses and launched a few of her own, learning from her successes and, most importantly, her failures.

Featured in media across the globe including the TODAY SHOW, New York Times, Denver Business Journal, NBC 9News and more, she is the host of the top-rated innovation podcast, Inside LaunchStreet.  Her big crazy goal is to unleash one million innovators into the world.

Session Title: Innovation is Everybody’s Business: Unlocking Your Innovative Mind to Achieve Peak Performance

The most important skill required for success in today’s rapidly changing world is your ability to innovate, adapt and harness change. Yet, there is a big myth that being an innovator is something for the select few with natural-born talents and funky job titles, not for everyday people like you and me. Tamara’s break-through work in human-centered innovation has blown this myth out the door. By combining her 25 years of business experience with neuroscience, brain mechanics, and behavioral psychology, Tamara has made innovation tangible and accessible to all of us. Her proprietary assessment, The Innovation Quotient Edge, shows individuals the keys to unlock their innovative minds so they can perform at their peak, create breakthrough outcomes, and project a stronger, more valued voice in the world. In this highly interactive session, Tamara will show each person in the audience how to harness their greatest competitive advantage – their unique Everyday Innovator styles – to outmaneuver and outperform others in the high-pressure, cluttered landscape that’s become the norm.

  • Discover how to gain a competitive advantage through your unique innovation powers.
  • Understand how to leverage your Everyday Innovator style to be a stronger leader, regardless of your title.
  • Find out how to overcome your internal resistors to change.
  • Learn how to build a high-performing team of innovators.
  • Unlock the tools to build innovative solutions to your biggest challenges and seize opportunities in new and meaningful ways.
  • Acquire the easy-to-implement tools for igniting innovation in yourself and your team.



Ginger Johnson
Expert Connector, Author, Coach

Ginger Johnson is a serial business woman. Having started her first company in 2002, she’s been on a mission to change the world for some time now.

Ginger frequently works with established and emerging agencies and organizations using her extensive knowledge of human connectivity to evoke and instill positive change and a growth mindset in her audiences.

Ginger has quickly become a conference favorite. She is the author of ​Women Enjoying Beer: How to Market Beer to Women​ and also her book, Connectivity Canon: Why and How to Connect with People on Purpose with a Service Mindset​.   Ginger lives in Southern Oregon with her Fine Husband and their dog.

Session Title: Cultivating Connectivity, One Step at a Time

Connectivity is human to human, not technology. It’s also comfortable and done with confidence when done right. So, what are the skills and tactics for connecting with other people, in person, and on purpose? This lively session will cover strategy and tactics that actually create and develop meaningful relationships, for business and life all over the globe. When you’re tapped into what Connectivity is and what it can do for you and the world around us, one step at a time, you see that everything is possible. Attendees will leave the room with several signature methods and techniques for opening real interactions and conversations to put into action right away.



Amber Rae
Speaker & Author
Amber Rae LLC

Called a “real-life Wonder Woman” by media, Amber Rae is a writer, visual artist, and speaker who encourages emotional wellness and personal growth. She is the author of the bestselling book, Choose Wonder Over Worry: Move Beyond Fear and Doubt to Unlock Your Full Potential. Her writing blends raw, personal storytelling with actionable aha! moments and has reached more than 20 million people in 195 countries. Her public art has spread to more than 20 countries, and she has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, NY Mag, TODAY, Inc., Bustle, SELF, Fast Company, Forbes and Entrepreneur.

Fortune called her “a Millennial Motivator” and Mind Body Green called her “The Brené Brown of Wonder.” She speaks frequently about wellness and emotional vulnerability for organizations such as Kate Spade, TED, Ogilvy, and WPP. Previously, Amber started a publishing company with Seth Godin and Amazon, and developed marketing campaigns for brands like Apple and Dove. She lives in Brooklyn, NY (and around the world) with her soon-to-be-husband, Farhad.

Session Title: Choose Wonder Over Worry: Move Beyond Fear and Doubt to Unlock Your Full Potential

Wonder is what we’re born with. Worry is what we learn. Now is the time to return to wonder. Why do we listen to the voice inside our head that tells us we’re not good enough, smart enough, or talented enough? Why do we hold back from speaking up or playing big? How can we move beyond the fear and doubt that prevents us from creating a life that reflects who we truly are? Join us as bestselling author, speaker, and artist Amber Rae urges us to “choose wonder” as we embrace discomfort and re-frame the way we relate to our inner emotional world. In this session, we’ll unpack the five myths that stifle our growth, learn strategies for decoding difficult emotions like anxiety, impostor syndrome, fear and envy, and discover how to cultivate courage, curiosity, and compassion so we can realize our true potential in life and work.


<!–Janet Sperstad–>

Dr. Romie Mushtaq, MD, ABIHM
Chief Wellness Officer
Evolution Hospitality

Dr. Romie, a triple board-certified physician, brings over 20 years of authority in neurology, integrative medicine, and mindfulness to her role as Chief Wellness Officer for Evolution Hospitality where she has implemented programs for over 7000 employees.

After undergoing life-saving surgery ten years ago, she traveled around the world, learning mindfulness-based techniques. Dr. Romie’s expertise is routinely featured in the national media, and on global stages for Fortune 500 corporations with athletes, and professional associations.  Dr. Romie, on a mission to transform the brain and mental health in the workplace, is bringing her innovative research based in neuroscience, integrative medicine, and mindfulness to teach the “brainSHIFT Protocol.”   Learn how to break your stress-success cycle and brainSHIFT to up-level your performance and leadership.

Session Title: brainSHIFT: Break Your Stress Success Cycle

Do you have difficulty focusing at work, shutting off your racing thoughts before bedtime? Are there too many browser windows open in your brain? How many productivity, leadership and time management courses and books have you consumed, yet only to fall back into your old habits? Join Dr. Romie as she brings together stories, science and actionable steps to break the stress-success cycle with the “brainSHIFT Protocol”. When you brainSHIFT, you become able to focus at work, lead with calm, and finally fall asleep.



Janet Sperstad, CMP
Program Director
Madison College

Janet Sperstad’s professional history reflects her lifelong vocation: driving excellence in meeting and event management execution and education. She has dedicated her career to defining the competencies and career pathways that articulate meeting planning as a design discipline – separate and distinct from hospitality – requiring skills in the social sciences, executive leadership, and the cognitive sciences.

Her contributions are global in scope and rooted in over 25 years as a meeting professional and executive leader in the corporate and non-profit sectors. Janet has been employed by a Fortune 500 global company, a statewide association, and owned a professional event management firm.

Janet currently leads Madison College’s Meeting and Event Management Associate degree program, which she founded in 2002. This award-winning program is recognized for its stringent requirements that faculty demonstrate direct meeting planning experience and credentials; the program currently offers the greatest number of meeting and event management credits in the United States and has served as a model for other programs at colleges and universities in North America and Europe.

Session Title: Unlocking the DNA Code of Leadership

Men and women’s brains are nearly identical, yet science proves we think and process information differently. Do male leaders have a different leadership DNA? Is there an ideal hormone profile for being a great leader?  In this session attendees will explore the answers to these questions and how our neurochemical and biological processing shapes who we are and how we lead.  Unlock your leadership DNA to unleash your ultimate potential.–>

Sherron Washington, M.A.
The P3 Solution

Sherron is the founder and CEO of The P3 Solution a full-service marketing and communication company. She has built her firm around the principle of “marketing simple,” which instructs clients to embrace simplified methods to promoting their business. She has imparted her marketing wisdom and expertise for nearly 20 years and has been deemed by many as “The Marketing Whisperer” due to her uncanny ability to assist clients in developing innovative, results-driven, yet simple solutions for their business. Sherron has written two books that teach businesses how to develop quick and effective marketing tactics.

As a speaker, trainer and professor, Sherron has an energetic style that captivates and educates simultaneously, sharing expert marketing insight in fun interactive sessions that engage the participants and enhance the learning experience. Sherron has presented at several conferences around the world including Inbound, Expo! Expo! and the International Baking Industry Expo, as well as for numerous IAEE chapters.

Sherron’s overall goal is to educate businesses on how to develop and execute better marcomm strategies that will help communicate and promote their brand effectively.

Panel Discussion


Panel Discussion


Offline Talks for Online Leadership

Unplugged. Unboxed. Unscripted.  Have more questions of your own? Want to dive deeper on a specific topic? Join our esteemed panel of industry leaders, as they share their stories and experiences in an open and sincere way.  Taking on additional audience questions, this session peels back the layers and offers a moment to get real and authentic!


Getting Real: Offline Talks for Online Leadership

Moderator: Janet Sperstad, CMP
Panelists: Jess Ekstrom, Risha Grant and Amber Rae

Unplugged. Unboxed. Unscripted. Have more questions of your own? Want to dive deeper on a specific topic? Join our keynotes, as they share their stories and experiences in an open and sincere way. Taking on additional audience questions, this session peels back the layers and offers a moment to get real and authentic with our keynotes!–>